Invasive Insects Biology and Ecology 2016 Internship Opportunity

Location: USDA Forest Service, Ansonia, CT Quarantine Laboratory

About the Forest Service:
The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grass-lands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
The Forest Service is the Nation’s foremost Federal forestry organization, providing leadership in the management, protection, use, research, and stewardship of natural and cultural resources on our country’s vast forests and grasslands. Our organization functions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), propelled by a dedicated workforce of permanent and temporary seasonal employees that exceeds 40,000 employees during the peak summer work season. The Forest Service was established in 1905 to sustainably manage our national forests and promote conservation across the land. We in the Forest Service are committed to retaining forests and grasslands for present and future generations.
The research we conduct on invasive insects helps support the Forest Service goal to develop and apply detection, prediction, prevention, mitigation, treatment, restoration, and climate adaptation methods, technologies, and strategies to address disturbances such as wildfire, human uses, invasive species, insects, extreme weather events (e.g., storms), and changing climatic conditions.

About the position:
Supervisor: Melody Keena, Northern Research Station, Ansonia and Hamden, CT
The selected individual will help to develop an understanding of how various invasive forest insects were introduced into the United States. They will learn about the basic biology and behavior of the insect (both in a quarantine and the forest) and about some of the management options. Specifically, the applicant can participate in: 1) an ongoing study to assess which North American trees are threatened by Asian gypsy moths if they become established in the United States; 2) learning about the biology of Asian longhorned beetle, hemlock woolly adelgid, and its predators; 3) assisting with molecular DNA analyses of winter moth, gypsy moth, and hemlock woolly adelgid predators to look at geographic origins of new pests and hybridization with native species; and 4) learning about the ecology of invasive forest insects through assisting with development of a spatial model of their spread and understanding what will happen if the invasive insects effectively remove host tree species from the landscape. To participate in the third and fourth items on the list, the intern must have their own means of transportation to be able to drive to the Hamden location and must commit to work for 10 weeks. The majority of the work done will be indoors and not in the forest. This would be a “best summer experience” for a person desiring to go into forest management or wanting to sample a broad range of entomological sub-disciplines to better define their career path. The Forest Service will not provide a salary for the position, but the intern will have access to the government facilities, when a permanent employee is present, and may have access to a government computer after a successful background check. A volunteer agreement is required. The computer access is not required for this position.

Experience needed/preferred:
Basic understanding of biology and not afraid of insects. Some experience in a laboratory using clean methods is desirable. Experience working in Microsoft Excel would be beneficial. Experience using an electronic balance to weigh small things would be very useful. The person will be relied on to assist in collecting time sensitive data, so a good work ethic is required. Good hand-eye coordination and ability to manipulate small objects is required.
Time Frame:
Starting as early in May as possible and working for 8-10 weeks would be preferred. Alternatively, two people each working different 4-5 week time periods, one in the spring and one in the summer.

The person could stay in government-provided quarters (no cost to the intern) adjacent to the quarantine laboratory. The location is about 10 miles from stores so a vehicle would be useful but is not required. Staff could take the person to a grocery store once a week and laundry facilities are available on site. The intern would be expected to keep the quarters cleaned and secure. There is no internet or cable television available in the quarters. There is a full kitchen in the quarters so the intern would need to know how to fix their own meals.
More information about the research:
Check out the insects listed above at the following site to see what we have been working on

To Apply:
Send resume showing your course work and experience that would be useful in this position. Also, send a cover letter indicating why you think this position would be good for you and how you are a good fit for it. Obtain a volunteer application and return it filled out and signed. A selection will be made on March 1 if there are multiple candidates that apply.
Melody Keena, PhD
Research Entomologist
Forest Service
Northern Research Station
p: 203-230-4308
f: 203-230-4315
[email protected]

51 Mill Pond Road
Hamden, CT 06514

Caring for the land and serving people